When there’s hope, there’s a way.
And then there’s Monbet.
The champion trotter capped a memorable week when landing the Gr.1 $260,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap at Addington today (Friday) defeating stablemate Quite A Moment and the Australian trained Kyvalley Blur in the 3200m stand-start feature.
Backing up from Tuesday when successful in the Gr.1 NZ Trotting FFA, the reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year completely obliterated the race record in the process.
Prepared by Greg and Nina Hope and partnered by Ricky May, the giant five-year-old rated 4:00.7 – smashing the previous mark of Stylish Monarch at 4:02.9 when successful back in 2010.
Sent out at unbackable odds, Monbet stepped safely and was allowed plenty of time early to balance himself while the in-form Bordeaux and Alley Way battled for the early lead.
Bordeaux soon took the lead from Alley Way.
The lead time was covered in 2:03.7.
With a solid tempo being set from Bordeaux, May sat patiently in the second-half of the field with the punter’s choice before edging to the outside nearing the 1400m marker.
But the moves came in front of him with Harriet Of Mot the first to angle wider before Amaretto Sun went in front of both trotters.
As the big field bunched as they entered the back straight, Monbet was positioned perfectly on the back of Harriet Of Mot gaining great cover.
The first half of the last mile was covered in 29.5 and 29.4 seconds.
With Bordeaux still rolling along in front, May soon allowed Monbet to stride and the Love You gelding quickly raced to the lead approaching the home turn.
Soon after straightening, Monbet put the race beyond reach of his rivals and raced clear while Quite A Moment and Kyvalley Blur chased valiantly.
With May kind to Monbet, he scored officially by 3/4L with a further 5L back to Kyvalley Blur.
The winning mile rate was 2:01.0 while the final half covered in 29.6 and 28.4 seconds.
The final mile was trotted in 1:56.9.
Monbet has now won his last eight races on end with six of those coming at Gr.1 level, he has clearly established himself as the best trotter in the southern hemisphere.
Last season, he won a total of 7 Gr.1 features; he already has two this season following his double this week.
Monbet has now claimed all major trotting features in his homeland while he becomes the first trotter since I Can Doosit in 2012 to win both Gr.1 features during Cup week.
“It’s a remarkable effort and it’s been a dream week, we’re so excited and a little relieved at the same time.” Greg Hope said.
Monbet is raced by Greg and Nina Hope along with Morrie Molloy.
With 23 victories from just 34 starts to date, Monbet has banked more than $770,000 in prizemoney.
Beaten narrowly in the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters by North Island star Speeding Spur last season, Monbet sits firmly in the driver’s seat for the current term.
The next leg of the APG Trotting Masters is the Gr.1 $100,000 Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Trotters Grand Prix at Melton on January 28.